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6 Father-Daughter Date Ideas

6 Father-Daughter Date Ideas

I was blessed to be raised by a doting father. In fact, at times, some argued that he doted too much on me. On the other hand, I can't even conceive that's possible because can a father adore his daughter too much? Okay, maybe, but for the sake of this article, let's chat about the importance of a father's influence on his girl.

Daughters grow up to view themselves very much through the lens of the most influential man in their life. Whether you're the biological father, stepfather, grandfather, uncle, surrogate, or what-have-you, your influence on them will affect their self-esteem, confidence, relationships, and faith. Because of this, it's important to spend quality time with them.

Taking your daughter on a "date" has become a real thing and is also quite popular. It's a great concept because it focuses on the father/daughter relationship, putting it in a healthy perspective, and being careful to grow healthy bonds that will serve her well into her future.

So, what do you do on a father-daughter date? You can only take them out to eat so many times! (Or can you?) There are quite a few creative and even non-creative but straightforward fun things to do. A lot depends on your personalities and interests. But we've compiled a few to get you started:

1. Night on the Town

This instantly brings to mind dinner out, maybe a walk around the lake, dessert at her favorite ice cream shop, etc. But everyone's "town" is different. New York City will give you an entirely different night on the town experience than small-town South Dakota. Still, there's usually enough to do in any town if tailored to your girl.

One fun thing to do is to have appetizers at one restaurant, the main course at another, and dessert at a third. It breaks up the night and is a whole experience in itself! Is there a theatre or a play in the area? Take it in. Maybe a concert or a movie is on the roster too. Many mid-size towns have wonderful summertime concerts outside by local musicians. Street concerts are a thing too. Any of these can be incorporated into a night on the town. And if you're lucky enough to live in New York City, well then yes, do take her to a Broadway show.

Father fishing with daughter

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/seanfboggs

2. Outdoor Time 

Don't underestimate your daughter. She may be all about outdoor time and, in fact, prefer it to other things. Have you taken her fishing? Hunting? What about ATV-ing, canoe/kayaking, or trap shooting? Geo-caching is also a fun thing to do if she likes the outdoors but isn't hardcore and or enjoys a good treasure hunt. Outdoors have become hugely popular with girls and women, and they shouldn't be underestimated.

Plan some outdoor time and see what your daughter responds to with interest or distaste. Worst case, you can end with a campfire and s'mores—most girls can be won over with chocolate!

3. Train Together

Some father and daughter duos can truly monopolize on a mutual love of competition. Consider your "date" time as training together. Maybe you enter a marathon, a bike race, a doubles tennis tournament, or a golf tournament. Whatever the competition may be, a lot of good conversation and bonding time can come while you're also pursuing a mutual goal.

And if you're not looking to pursue a competitive event together, try shooting hoops, playing some football or soccer, or even a good ol' game of catch. In this day and age, while many girls appreciate dressing up, dancing, and getting the princess treatment, some of us just really want to get down and get rough. So, if that's your daughter, enjoy and give her that experience!

4. Daddy/Daughter Dance

Father dancing with daughter

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/LuckyBusiness

Many churches and schools offer this opportunity, especially for fathers of younger girls. Give them the full-on experience and go big! Meet your baby girl at the door with a corsage. Dress up in a full suit and tie—open doors for your little princess. Show them a true gentleman while also being "daddy."

So many little girls equate a daddy/daughter dance with being a princess. Memories can be made in these moments, so be alert to your daughter's interests. She'd probably gravitate to a dancing date if she's all about playing dress-up and dancing in the living room!

5. Be a Nerd

Is your daughter a nerd? I sure was! Nothing was better than my dad making plans for a day trip to a museum. Whether historical or scientific, museums were the best! Art museums were always a bonus too, and these types of daughters will gravitate to allllllll the conversation there is to be had when wandering for hours through the halls of displays.

Not a museum nut? Maybe she's a gamer. That's a different type of "nerd," but be proud because some girls truly rock a game of Halo or Mario Cart. You may make your daughter's date night with some hardcore video gaming. Better yet, if she gets to teach Dad how to play, she'll feel pretty good about her high scores and your low ones.

6. Bookishly Booked

One last idea centers around literature. Does your daughter love a good story? Consider a library date. Yes, it sounds weird, but it's heaven if she's a reader. Or plan your dinner date around a trip to the local bookstore. Keep an eye out for author events where you can take her to meet an author in person.

There are a lot of Indie bookstores for kids too. Their experience is built around inspiring their imaginations. So don't delay in researching these stores, too, even if your daughter isn't a hefty reader. Sometimes the experience in and of itself will open her eyes to a whole new world!

In the end, when you're planning a father and daughter date, really take into consideration the interests of your daughter as well as what she does and doesn't tolerate. This may also mean you have to endure something you're not as keen on, but the reward is your daughter's laughter, her smile, and the precious time spent together building a foundation and a bond. The importance of building a relationship around an event is major. Yes, you can spend time together at home, but having a special time set aside to make a special event will create a lasting memory in your daughter's life. A memory she will look back on for years to come and hopefully cherish. Something she can say, "remember when," as she looks at your memory framed in a picture frame. (That's right, don't forget to take pictures!)

Time together is critical. Building that foundational bond is irrefutably valuable. Take steps to make it a priority. Neither of you will regret it.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/yacobchuk

Jaime Jo Wright is an ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author. Her novel “The House on Foster Hill” won the prestigious Christy Award and she continues to publish Gothic thrillers for the inspirational market. Jaime Jo resides in the woods of Wisconsin, lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimewrightbooks.com and at her podcast madlitmusings.com where she discusses the deeper issues of story and faith with fellow authors.